"It is being in a position to help the next generation of artists. I am so energized to see the passion, drive, and commitment of our young musicians. It is a always a challenge to find effective, novel ways to propel them to a successful career. But it does not deter me from creating new projects towards that goal."
"I'm glad that Charles Gounod is a French composer because I can understand the opera in my own language. In many ways, Gounod's score is so far away from the Prokofiev score. Prokofiev's music is imminently danceable, the chords and harmonizations are rich and original. But Prokofiev's score is very dark while Gounod infuses a lot of colour, humour and drama."
Then one day in the car, he heard a completely original Melody that suddenly came into his head and he began to cry. From there on - and to this day - melodies have come to Mr. Thomas "incessantly." A composer was born.
"Of course, school education does not give you large amounts of stage experience, in the same way as is provided by some young artist programs. During two seasons as a young artist in London, I was singing supporting roles on the main stage and making unexpected debuts in the leading roles. Of course, in extreme situations you learn much faster."
"As a singer, as a professional, experienced singer, older colleague," Hampson advises young singers entering the profession, "I can only say that the industry you're in is not the industry I started in."
"When I start to work with a new orchestra, the first thing that I do is to play through the piece or through large chunks of it. This allows me to get to know the way of playing of the orchestra and, likewise, the orchestra gets to know my way of conducting and if I have a deep knowledge of the piece. This is something, by the way, that experienced musicians know immediately, and you earn or lose their respect in these first moments."
"I have learnt a lot but there is still a lot to learn. The most important thing I've learned is that the calling is not only about professionalism and talent. Many other factors also play a role in the career of a professional singer, some of which might be harmful to the art itself."
"Opera is so difficult to get right. There are a lot of valiant efforts but even in the master works of previous centuries, so many things have to come together for an opera to actually work for the audience. The story telling has to be clear, all the actors have to be on the same page, and the chorus has to be invested."
"As the composer, I try to see both the forest and the trees - to feel the small details and the small moments while making sure the text is right, the high notes are being approached in just the right way, and I'm also monitoring the large-scale form while keeping the pacing moving. It's multi-tasking at an intense level."
"This year marks the bicentennial of the birth of French composer Charles Gounod, and it felt like the perfect time to explore his lesser-known works. We are thrilled to be opening our season with the U.S. premiere of Gounod's La reine de Saba, composed in the years between Gounod's acclaimed grand operas Faust and Roméo et Juliette."